Iliad projects 4m FTTH homes in 2012

Iliad, the mother company of French internet access provider Free plans to provide fibre-to-the-home horizontal coverage of 70% of Paris in the second half of the year and to 4 million households by 2012. As part of the roll-out of its FTTH network, the group has already invested €150 million.

Iliad-Free said it is targeting a “very strong increase in its net profit” in 2009, and to break even subsidiary Alice’s EBITDA in the second quarter of this year.

The company also expects to reach 5 million broadband subs in 2011 as well as an 82% group-wide unbundling rate by the end of 2009. It finally confirmed it would apply the fourth 3G licence call for bids.

The announcement was made as the group announced 2008 net profit down 33.2% at €100.4 million vs €150.2 million in 2007. Last year, Alice’s acquisition weighed heavily on Iliad’s results. This takeover excluded, Iliad’s net profit reached €216.7 million in 2008, up 44.3%. EBITDA was up 18.3% to €524.7 million.

Group consolidated revenues totalled €1,565 million, up 29% compared to 2007. Last year, Iliad’s profitability improved, driven by a dynamic broadband division, the group explained.
Boasting 1.3 million new subscribers in 2008, Iliad-Free positioned as the second web actor behind France Télécom totalling 4.2 million subs and a marketshare of 25% vs 19.7% in 2007. But the net debt also rose in 2008 reaching €881.9 million vs €11.9 million in 2007.